Jason Brown ask's Jack Frost if this year really is the year of the (Bitch) Witch.
Power Metal seems to becoming very popular these days and it is about time too!! Over the years we have had the pleasure of of such U.S. great's like: Omen, Helstar, Liege Lord, early Fates Warning, and so on!! Now in a new era Seven Witches look more likely to take on the world as one of the new age U.S. Power Metal acts that still carry the old school U.S. feel within their music. Founder member Jack Frost has been around for many years now with his first act 'Frost Bite' in the 90's right up unto his latest band 'Seven Witches', who have recorded several albums to date and still going strong. I asked Jack some questions to find out my about this awesome new album 'Year Of The Witch', released on Sanctuary Music. Here is what he had to say. Bow down to with witch before she cast's their spell upon you!!
Hey Jack, great to speak to you again as always you fucking pecker head!! (Jack & I have a understanding folks). I'd like to start my asking you the following question. Looking back at your previous line-up, who do you still have respect for and why? Also who do you have the least respect for and why?
"Well Jase you limie fuck!! Good to speak to you again too!! The answer to your question is, I really don't have any disrespect for any of my previous members because they are all great musicians and people and things change. Bobby & myself had a fall out because we just didn't see eye to eye in those days. Wade is also a great singer but things didn't work out that's all. I hate all these people who go around slagging heir fellow musician's off. It's like a marriage as you can't get along with everybody for ever!! Every person who has been in this band has done an outstanding job and I really do respect them for that. People and times change and you have to understand that. If I don't make enough money then I can't make these guys quit their day jobs for me. Saying that the only person I think was a dick at that time was Billy The Kid, because he really went about it the wrong way. He was nobody and he had the chance of really making it and after a week after he quit we went on a major tour. Looking back at it now, I don't think he was really a dick, I just feel that he went about it the wrong way. Joey Vera really never left the band, he had the chance to tour with Anthrax and to be honest if he didn't take that chance I would of fired him for not taking it!! He is like my brother, they all are!! Joey is still part of the band!! He will be back with me for the next album as co producer and also mix the record with me.
Brain left the band because we felt that we need to move up another level and Joey didn't think he was progressing with us and it was showing in the studio. He is a great drummer, but when it tame to record in the studio we felt there was something missing. We need somebody that would really drive the band. He also has a family so that really had to come first for him. After the last tour we did when we met Jase he did not even pick up his drum sticks for about 8 months. I think when musician's leave a band because of family etc.. I feel it is a cop out, because their partners know they are musician's right from the very start. I feel that everbody who has been in this band has contributed a lot so I have to say thank you to them for that!!"
What do you think of Bobby's new band 'Exhibitionist' & Wades band 'Leash Law'?
"I really like them, Bobby sang on the debut solo record and he did a great job. He also has another band called 'Overlord', and they have a deal I believe and they will open up for us soon. Wade's album is a really cool record too, and last time I saw Wade in Florida we hugged each other and had a few beers. I have a lot of respect for him., he is a killer singer!!"
Looking back at you're previous albums Jack, which is you're favourite and why?
"That is a tough question to answer, but I would have to say that 'Passage To The Other Side' is a personal album because of my brother, and the 2nd album 'Second War In Heaven' is also a personal album to me because it was the first time that we really went to a real recording studio. I also think that the new album 'Year Of The Witch' is also important to me because it is a record that I produced & mixed it by myself."
I have noticed Jack that you have done a few projects in the past with such acts like 'Speeed', 'Bronx Casket Co', was there any other projects that you have done?
"Well I have just done the new 'Bronx Casket Co' album, and I have also been offered to join 'Blaze' and to tour but Seven Witches have a bunch of shows coming up so that comes first for now, but I think I might help them out after we have finished touring. The new Bronx CD will be a little more commercial and we are also looking for a new deal right now."
As we are talking about solo projects, let's talk about you're own solo album that you released this year 'Raise Your Fist To Metal', so how did you hook up with all those musicians?
asked all my fellow musician friends that I have known for years and people I
have admired for a long time. When I told them I was doing a solo album I asked
them if they would like to take part in it and they all agreed to help out!! The
line-up for that album is: Gonzo Sandoval (Armored Saint,
Life After Death)
Johnny Dee (Doro, Britny Fox, Waysted) Mike Duda (W.A.S.P.) Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning, Seven Witches) Billy Childs (Britny Fox) Mike LePond (Symphony X) Harry Hess (Harem Scarem) Bobby Lucas (Overlord) Joe Comeau (Annihilator, Overkill) Steve Braun (Azlan) Jack Emrick (Life After Death) and Rob Rock (Impellittari, Warrior, Axel Rudi Pell). So as you can see I have a awesome line-up for that album.
I notice Jack that you recorded a cover of Kansas 'Fight Fire With Fire', it's a great song and I know you love their music. Why did you pick that song in particular? I also notice that you also recorded a Ratt song 'Lack Of Cummincation', why did yo decide to record that song too?
"Well I think people over look the 2 albums that Kansas did called 'Play The Game Tonight' & 'Drastic Measures' because it is not Steve Walsh & I think Elefante was a great singer, but I think that was a little more of a heavier record and I feel that the song was a great record. I wanted to record 'The War', but that is touching on a masterpiece like Zepplin's 'Stairway To Heaven' and I felt that I could not touch something that is so special. Well I decided to record that song because it was one of the first bands I got to see in the 80's. They were such a cool band to see back in the day. I have always loved that song and I just had to record it for this record. I did think about recording the song 'Wanted Man' too, but I feel we made 'Lack of...' a really heavy version.
So am I right in saying the whole project was a success?
"Yeah it was, I love the whole thing, the music, the recording and working with all those cool musicians as well as the cool album cover. it was a blast!! I am going to do another album in the near future when I have time. I just signed a deal with 'Mausoleum Records' so I will do it for them."
Jack I feel that Ray Alder from Fates Warning would be a great choice for the next album!! Also how will the next solo album differ from the debut one?"
"Well he almost sang on my debut album, but it didn't work out. I might use him for the next album, but its all up in the air right now, it's in the early stages. I think the next album will have a female singer on it, something different for me. I am also going to have a Country / Rocksong on there, I love that music dude!! (ED: Your fuckin joking dude!!, Is this going to be a Crock album?)
It's been a while since we last met, it was on the Annihilator Tour, so I want to ask you how you hooked up with James Rivera, he is 1 of my favourite singers dude, I love Helstar!!
"I met him a while ago when I was on tour with 'Savatage' in Houston (Texas), and we met after the show and started talking and we kept in touch and after a few years he called me. He also hooked me up with Brian our old drummer as they were both in the same band 'Destiny's End' so when Wade got sick on the 'Annihilator' tour we almost got James to fill in for Wade. We went through a bunch of singers but James seemed the right choice, and to me he is the voice of Seven Witches.
Besides hooking up with James Rivera, who else did you have in mind to replace Wade Black?
"I was thinking about having Charles from 'Lefay', he is a great singer too!! I also thought about having the guy from the band called 'Astral Doors' because he sounds like Tony Martin, he is one of my favourite singers dude!! He was the best singer Sabbath ever had and people think I'm talking shit but I really don't care!!"
What sort of reaction from the fans and press have you been getting since James joined the band?
"Great response Jase, people love his voice and I think it was a marriage made in heaven for the band to have him as our singer. James and myself just get along really well together and I don't have to say anything when we are in the studio, he does a awesome job!! We do fight like everybody else but we do get along well and I also produced his other band's album 'Distant Thunder', so I think that tells you how good our relationship is"
Are the songs Jack wrote as a team effort or by either James or yourself?
"Well Jase the songs are wrote as a team effort. Everybody helps out in some sharp or form."
How do you see this album as a progression from the previous albums?
"To me this is our interpretation of King Diamond's 'Abigail', a masterpiece!!! Haha!!"
I have noticed that this album does not feature any cover tunes, why is that?
"I think it was time for a break, as I recorded 2 on my solo album."
For a metalhead who has not heard your music before, how would you best describe the music or bands that relate to your music?
"Well I would say thats a tough question?? I would have to say old school Metal which comes across between Manowar meets Judas Priest meets Thin Lizzy with a little bit of Metallica placed in a blender!!"
Moving on, why did you decide to call the new album 'Year Of The Witch', was there any other titles and covers in mind, if so what were they?
we did think about calling it 'Jacob' or 'Asylum' and if you really think about
it, it is our album so we thought why not call it the 'Year Of The Witch'. I
really want this band to make it dude!! You know me Jase, I'm no Rock Star, I'm
like to joke about and I also like to wind you up!! (ED: I know you do you
is my baby and I want to see it grow up and go to college. I did a lot of this
band on my own and it means a great deal to me!! Speaking of the art work, I do
love it, but I'm not familiar with the guy who did the art work his name is
Marko Jakobi & Marisa Jakobi. The record company suggested we use these guys
to do the art work."
The album was recorded by yourself and Don Sternecker, who owns the studio. Are you happy with the end results?
"I pretty much produced the album by myself and mixed it with Don and engineered it with Dennis Hayes, and I am so happy with the way the album sounds. Even though Joey Vera was not with us, his ghost was with me if you know what I mean? Joey was always very particular about things and he would tell me if he did not like a certain sound or playing on the record. So if there was something wrong I would think what Joey would do if he was with us in the studio. Joey is very proud of what I came up with with the end results."
This album as you said features ex Winter's Bane bassist Dennis Hayes, fuck dude I use to know those guys really well, Lou, Ripper, Terry, it seems so strange. How did you hook up with him?
"Well I was doing a signing session at the 'Brave Words...' festival and Dennis brother Dave came up to me and asked if I ever need a new bass player my brother is a huge fan of my work. I couldn't believe it and I know who he was talking about so I called him up. So when Joey went off to do the Anthrax tour I called Dennis. I was also speaking to Nick from Doro band (ED: I also know him too, great guy!!, Former Deadly Blessing)."
How did you hook up with Jeff Curenton on drums?
"Jeff was also in Winter's Bane for a short time as well as Dennis. He also plays in a band called 13 Faces, who is Dennis best friend. So when I told Dennis that I needed a cool drummer from his area he recommended Jeff. He is a great drummer too!!"
So Jack, having heard the new album, which songs stand out for you?
"I love 'Metal Asylum', because it is the metal anthem of the year!! To me that is the closest metal song I have wrote to date. It is a thank you to all the people who got me were I am today!!
What sort of press reviews has the new album been receiving so far?
"The reviews have been amazing so far!! (ED: I think it sucks!! Physic!!) Thanx dude!! A lot of people didn't think we could do a better album after 'Passage To..' album. The press and fans love it!!"
Will you be recording a promo video for this album?
"Mmm, we might do!! I think it would have to be for the song 'Metal Asylum'."
What about releasing a live DVD with extra feature, it seems to be a thing that every band is doing right now.
"Yes we will, it will be called 'The Years Of The Witch', it will feature everybody that has been in this band with live and studio footage and we hope to have it released next year!!"
Moving on Jack, playing with Savatage and supporting the greatest metal band in the world 'Judas Priest' must of been a great buzz for you, was it?
"It was awesome, there really cool guys as you already know. One of the best tours I have ever been on!!
So when will we see the band on tour over here?
"Not sure yet, as we are playing some shows with Kings X and also UFO in the U.S. We hope to be over there in the New Year."
Well Jack nice speaking to you again as always (Not!!) joking. Do you have anything to say before we finish? I'll come over to your place soon dude so we can hang out. Best of luck with the album it's a great album!!
"Yeah thanx for doing the interview, we will meet again and yeah come over to my house if you can. To our fans thanx for their support, look out for the tour and keep supporting Metal!!"
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